Retired US general to coordinate coalition against IS

Washington: Retired American general John Allen is being tasked with coordinating a global coalition in support of US-led efforts to combat the Islamic State militant group running amok in Syria and Iraq, the State Department said Friday.

The retired Marine Corps four-star general was named as the special presidential envoy by Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in the Middle East trying to mobilise regional support for Washington's expanding battle against the radical group, Xinhua quoted State Department spokesperson Marie Harf as saying.

Released Fijian peacekeepers welcomed back to UN Golan mission

United Nations: All the 45 recently released Fijian blue helmets were welcomed back to a camp of the UN force in the Golan Heights, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Friday.

"The 45 previously-detained Fijian peacekeepers in the Golan were welcomed back yesterday (Thursday) to the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) Camp Faouar by the Force Commander, Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha, as well as other mission colleagues," Xinhua quoted Dujarric as saying at a press briefing.

"The 45 soldiers have undergone a medical assessment," he said.

'No need for faraway individuals to decide India's destiny'

New Delhi: Striking a strong stance against the holding of a debate on Kashmir in the British parliament, India Friday said the days when "a group of disparate individuals would decide the destinies of countries far away from their shores" have gone and India would decide issues concerning its own destiny.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, answering a query at a briefing here Friday, said that: "We would like to make it very clear that gone are the days when a group of disparate individuals would decide the destinies of countries far away from their shores.

Iran, US cooperation against IS unlikely: official

Tehran: Cooperation between Iran and the US in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) is impossible, a senior Iranian military commander said Friday.

"Such cooperation is not possible at all, because Iran is standing against the IS, as the United States has created the IS," Xinhua quoted Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Masoud Jazayeri, as saying.

IS militants by no means can approach the border regions of Iran, as they will face the might of the Iranian armed forces, Jazayeri added.

Kenya to partner with US against terrorism

Nairobi: Kenya will partner with the US to fight against terrorism that has affected some sectors of the East African country's economy.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Interior Monica Juma said Friday Kenya was glad to have a partner like the US that is committed in the terror campaign to wipe out agents of horror and fear.

"The threat of terrorism affects all countries, and all nations of goodwill must join hands to combat the peril that has, of late, intimidated the world like it has never been experienced in the past," Xinhua quoted Juma as saying.

Ebola toll crosses 2,400: WHO

Geneva : The death toll in the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has exceeded 2,400 among 4,784 reported cases, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan said Friday.

Most victims died in worst-hit Liberia and in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

WHO officials expect several thousand more cases in Liberia over the next three weeks.

The outbreak began in December 2013 in Guinea. Cases have also been reported in Nigeria where eight people died and in Senegal where one patient is being treated in hospital.

Indian origin MPs conspicuous by their absence at Kashmir debate

London : Out of the 10 odd MPs of Indian-origin in Britain's House of Commons, eight were missing from action in India's hour of need at a potentially embarrassing debate on the political and humanitarian situation in Kashmir in Britain's parliament Thursday afternoon.

The two who were present were Virendra Sharma, an opposition Labour party MP who was present three years ago as well to speak in a debate on the same subject and Paul Uppal, a first time MP belonging to the ruling Conservative Party, who made his maiden appearance to defend India's corner.

Thai PM delivers policy statement, pledges comprehensive reforms

Bangkok : Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha Friday delivered his cabinet's policy statement to the provisional legislature, promising to bring changes in the country through reforms in an all-round way.

Prayuth, also chief of the National Council for Peace and Order that staged the May 22 coup, presented the government policies to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), detailing goals in 11 areas, including combating corruption, reducing social disparity and promoting social welfare, Xinhua reported.


Georgian climbers erect 9/11 memorial plaque on Mt. Kazbek

Tbilisi : Eleven amateur and professional climbers from Georgia reached the summit of Mount Kazbek in northern Georgia as a memorial service for the 9/11 victims.

The climbers Thursday erected a memorial plaque on the 5,034-metre mountain peak with victims' names from the 9/11 terror attack in the New York City in 2001, reports Xinhua.

The group of climbers started their Mount Kazbek attempt Sep 3.


Australia upgrades terror alert

Sydney : Australia Friday raised the national terrorism public alert level from medium to high after receiving advice from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the advice was not based on knowledge of a specific attack plan but rather a body of evidence that points to the increased likelihood of a terrorist attack in Australia, Xinhua reported.